The Perfect Home Defense Weapon
The number 1 question that I get asked of me is…
“What is the perfect home defense weapon?”
Well, that really can’t be answered with just one gun. And if it could have, you’ll have already known the answer. But, what I can tell you is, you have to have a gun that is suited to your level of proficiency.
You may choose a revolver, semi-automatic, shotgun, or AR type rifle. But if you don’t know how to effectively use that gun, and by use, I mean correct a malfunction instantly, then you shouldn’t use that weapon in a life or death situation.
Now, remember what you’re using this for, to defend yourself and your family from a brutal home invasion. This person wants to kill you, wants to bound, gag, and potentially rape or murder your family.
And because you saw some great TV show out there, and the guy had a cool gun, and you thought, “That’s the one for me.”
You spend a lot of money. You went and bought a bunch of Gucci gear for it, and you think you’re going to run that gun when you have no manual dexterity. You’ve got tunnel vision and all of a sudden something goes click instead of bang.
Now, I hear guys say….
“I’m going to buy my wife a revolver. It has a heavy trigger pull, so if she gets nervous, she has a lower chance of accidentally pulling the trigger. She doesn’t have to worry about a magazine.”
Guys, if you think your woman can’t handle a gun, well, you’re underestimating her. And you haven’t spent any time with her on the range.
If you care enough about her to enter in a marriage with her, have children with her, and you yourself would take a bullet for her, you owe it to yourself to teach her how to defend herself.
Now, giving her a revolver, take for instance a Smith and Wesson 642 airweight and 38 caliber. It has 5 rounds in a cylinder. Even the most experienced revolver users, completion shooters take, on average, longer to dump the shells, reload with a speed loader, close the cylinder, and get back on target.
Now, I don’t have any issue with revolvers. I like revolvers. I think they’re great back-up gun. But, if my wife is huddled down in a closet with my children, I don’t know that a revolver is what optimally I want her to have.
Glock 19 holds 15 rounds. Put one in the chamber. Now you have 16 rounds. That’s a far cry from 5 rounds of a revolver.
If there are multiple attackers, and tell me that there won’t be, tell me that there won’t be 2 or 3 guys coming into the house.
You’re willing to bet the life of your wife and your children on that. I would want as many bullets as I can get. And I would want extra magazines with many more bullets.
Doing a magazine change on a semi-automatic pistol, when the slide locks to the rear, is simple. As my good friend Jake Gibson would say, “Put the thing in the thing and pull the thing.”
And you see I didn’t do any type of military jargon, right? Just put the goddamn magazine in it, rack the slide, and start pulling the trigger.
To all the wives, women out there, if your man won’t show you that, here’s how you do it:
- Put the magazine in
- Pull the slide
- Pull the trigger
It’s as simple as that.
Now I also hear…
“I’m gonna get out my 45. And I love a 45 because they don’t make a 46.”
Alright, a 1911 series, right, hey, I love the 1911. It’s a great gun. But how many rounds do a 1911 hold?
8? With one in the chamber thats 9….At most.
You might be thinking…
“I only need one of a 45 and knock him down”.
Well here’s the question…
Is that guy who’s just invaded your home going to stay static? Is he just going to stay put and wait for your shot? And are you going to be able to use a 2-handed grip, firm firing grip stance, and pull the trigger to the rear and make an effective, accurate shot?
Under stress and duress, you’re only going to perform at the level you’ve trained for. Nothing more, nothing less.
Hey, there are guys who are expert in 1911 and I’m with you right there.
Because in today’s environment, people are working in pairs. They’re working in trios. They got 4 guys, 5 guys. Okay?
You cannot count on you making an accurate shot the 1st time.
It’s unfortunate, but that’s the reality of things.
Unless you’re training every single day, and what I mean by training is going to the range, load your gun, point it forward, and pull the trigger. That shot location might as well be your 1st shot in a life or death situation.
Now notice I didn’t say take time, steady your breathing, front sight picture, focus forward, slowly pull the trigger to the rear, and wait for the reset. I didn’t say anything like that. Just load your gun, press out, and pull the trigger.
Guys in the military, professional law enforcement, swat teams, they train like that every day. When I say every day, what does that mean to you? It means 5,000 rounds a month, every month of training to get that right.
So, put the odds in your favor. More bullets equals more time to defend yourself. But if .45 1911 is all you have, thank God you have something.
OK, so here’s the deal with long guns.
There are a lot of new AR owners out there right now. I love the AR platform. It is a complicated weapon system, should you not know how to operate it.
So most AR’s you’ll be buying shoot a .223 round, right? Your average magazine will hold 30 rounds…that’s a lot of bullets.
But you have to look at your environments specifically because, if you go start popping off rounds from an AR inside of a confined space that’s full of drywall installation, and you’ve got children or family members forward of that position, there is a great chance that this will over penetrate.
Which means more chance of hurting those around you, so be careful alright?
So you’ve got a great amount of firepower right here. You’ve got plenty of bullets.
But here’s something else to consider. Have you ever heard guns going off inside of a house? It’s deafening, I can tell you that.
So you need to consider that this gun is going to make a lot of noise and it’s going to distort your environment. And now, fortunately, it’s going to distort the environment of your attackers too.
If it were me, and I’ve got a gun, maybe I’d want to get some electronic hearing protection, the kind that you turn on with batteries and still allows you to hear the outside world. However, when the round cracks off, it tightens down, muffling your hearing while the shots go over, then it goes back to normal again.
Just something to consider. If you got it available and you do have time, it will be great to use.
So here’s the deal with shotguns. I hear…
“I’m going to get me an 870. I’m going to put some double-up buck in that thing, and I’m going to tear his butt up.”
Hey, man, fantastic. But if you’re buying this gun and this is the only gun you have for home protection, are you expecting your wife, your girlfriend, your loved one, to be able to pick this gun up, run it out, and shoulder like you do?
Because I’m going to tell you right now, this thing is heavy. Coming down a stairwell, coming down a hallway, it gets heavy and has a lot of recoil. I’m good with it. Just make sure that your people are trained how to use it.
Personally, I have the old 870 tactical shotgun. This gun’s pretty tricked out. I have a light. I have a forward hand grip, Thompson style.
I’ve got a side saddle, 6 extra shells. I’ve got a rail on top, should I want to put an optic there. Collapsible butt stock, pistol grip, and then the plug let me hold 6 rounds.
This plug runs all the way up to the end of the barrel and the barrel happens to be 16 inches.
And the rounds are double-up buck, and this is what most of the guys think that they’re going to get. Like I said, make sure the people in your family can handle it.
Now, mine is a 20-gauge youth model.
“EJ, why do you have a 20-gauge youth model?”
Well this is my kid’s turkey gun. But you know what?
It’s also set up for home defense.
Pull the optic on top, front and rear sights and even a smaller size individual, a woman, even a child, can hold and operate a 20-gauge shotgun (with some training of course).
I can hold and shoulder a 20-gauge shotgun with children behind me. And I can still fire it. Bring my hand, pump, and move kids. I can move around doors and obstacles.
A 20-gauge shotgun with birdshot is less likely to penetrate into another room and break something or hurt somebody, like we talked about.
You may buy the 870 tactical for yourself. You may buy some type of Mossberg. Some tricked out Gucci gear….Everything you see on Call of Duty.
You may have all that on your gun, and that’s great. But,
if you’re going to buy something that the entire family or family members can use,
I recommend a youth model 20-gauge shotgun and put birdshot in it and add more rounds with a side saddle.
Alright, so let’s wrap this up.
If you happen to have an AR, that’s fantastic. You’ve got a lot of rounds, great knock down power. Just watch your over-penetration.
Understand that in order for you to reload it, you’ve got to insert the magazine, run the bolt forward. If it’s not already locked to the rear, you need to rack it. You need to pull the charging handle.
You’ll need to get some training on this gun. Guys in the military go weeks and weeks and weeks in training with this, same with the law enforcement. You need to do the same for yourself, for your loved ones.
If I have to run a pistol inside of a home defense situation, I want as many bullets as I can get. Make sure that’s a pistol you can handle, that you can effectively employ, and you can manipulate, should a malfunction occur.
So as you can see, there is no ‘perfect home defense weapon’. If there was, I would not be standing here and telling you what I’m telling you.
Pick the gun that’s right for you, right for your environment, and more importantly, a gun that you can correct a malfunction on instantly.
When your life is in danger, you need to count on that weapon, don’t let others make the choice for you, you decide for yourself because only you know yourself the best.